Should I let my son listen to extreme music?

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Should I let my son listen to extreme music?

My son is interested in extreme music like Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Thrash Metal, Power Electronics, Hardcore Punk, Powerviolence, Grindcore, Noise and Industrial. My son is even in 4 bands (one black metal one, one "power electronics"/"pure harsh noise", one "teutonic thrash" metal one, and one "avant-garde" metal band.) A lot of these bands (both his bands and other bands) use scary images and say scary things! I don't know what I should do.

Community Manager

Re: Should I let my son listen to extreme music?

Hey @cool_mom123, I can see this is your first post - welcome to the forum! 

Thanks for asking this question as its something that so many parents battle with. 

Young people's taste in music can be confusing and at times worrying - I'd be really interested to hear from other parents on how they handle this one. 


You've mentioned so many specific genres in your post - it really shows how much you invest in your son to know what music he's listening to and playing - even down to these niche genres! 

It sounds like music is pretty important to your son - if he's playing in 4 bands he must be pretty talented too! 

It's likely that this music is a helpful outlet / expression for him, and the bands are also probably a way for him to connect with his peers. Just out of interest, what instrument does he play? 


I wonder if you could show your interest in his music in a way that lets him know you care, and are a safe person for him to talk to about this. Perhaps by asking him to explain the genres to you, or about his favorite band, or favourite song? 
He's likely to want to keep listening and playing, so open discussion and communication might be the best way to go?


Prolific scribe

Re: Should I let my son listen to extreme music?

Thank goodness for headphones! This is a really tough one because you want him to experiment yet it makes you uncomfortable.  

If your son is a younger teen I would be more concerned but there is a reason these types of music are popular. For some ‘primal’ reason it really appeals to boys. It can make them feel like an individual yet like they belong to something. 

I know that when I tell our son how uncomfortable something makes me feel and why (if possible) he really takes it on board. We also make an effort to find some part, or song, we ‘like’ and make sure he knows. When we verbalise our response to a song in a constructive way he may not like it but he still hears it and hopefully thinks about it. We also use humour a bit. 

Maybe you could ask him to limit scary stuff to certain areas or subjects and ensure that there are none that promote or depict violence. You can use anything from the news to support this. Also, as he sounds talented, you could encourage him to write his own stuff, have control over his material. Triple J can support this I think. 

Good luck with this. Hopefully, he will go through this phase, convert you or make some great songs.

Prolific scribe

Re: Should I let my son listen to extreme music?

I have been thinking about this thread a bit and then this article popped up in my newsfeed. Not good news for me.


Does listening to Elliott Smith when you're feeling down make you feel better or worse? The answer may depend on your gender. Scientists at Aalto University in Finland monitored brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), an area of the brain associated with emotional regulation. They found that when women listened to music to distract from negative feelings, there was an increase in activity in the mPFC. For men who were listening to the music to help them express their negative feelings, there was a decrease in activity in the mPFC.”


I thought you’d be interested. It does link to the research article which seemed more promising in the parts I could understand. 

Community Manager

Re: Should I let my son listen to extreme music?

That's such an interesting insight @JAKGR8  - thanks heaps for sharing!

So interesting that different brains may experience different things when listening to the same music! 

I think the same is probably true for teen brains compared to adult brains - there is probably a difference in way the brains perceive and experience the music. 

I know when I was a teenager I loved very heavy music, but I mostly hate it now! 



Super frequent scribe

Re: Should I let my son listen to extreme music?

Hey @cool_mom123 ,


There has already been great posts from others . . . . 


I think you are amazing, well done for keeping on top of the interests in your son's life!


Just echoing others in saying that talking to him about the music (in a non-judgemental way) could be your best way forward (after all, I don't think you can do much in terms of stopping it!).


Last year my son went through an EMO phase. He was also depressed at the time (hospitalised levels) and I was scared that he would come across Adams song (think that was Blink 182). It petrified the hell out of me, so I can somewhat relate to what you are going through.


Sorry I cant be of more help, best of luck!